Posted on Aug 30, 2017

USF Nursing Students Learn Global Community Nursing in Scotland

USF Nursing Students Learn Global Community Nursing in Scotland

A total of 30 USF College of Nursing undergraduate students recently returned from a two-week summer global community health experience in Scotland.

The international partnership, in its fourth year, doubled the number of students participating this year and sent two groups of USF nursing students overseas. During the first two weeks, students paired with counterparts at the University of Stirling School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health (SNMH), while the second group of students partnered with the University of the West of Scotland near Glasgow.

The trips were part of a global partnership agreement between USF College of Nursing and SNMH established in 2013. The goal was total immersion, both clinically and culturally. Students experienced first-hand how healthcare is delivered in the United Kingdom. Students learned the stark difference between the UK’s socialized health care delivery model versus the private healthcare system in the U.S.

“This is a time to really see how other cultures deliver nursing care,” said Stephen Mcghee, MSC, RNC, FAAN, the USF instructor who led the group. “It adds another dimension to their professional development.”

“It’s added to their communications skills. It adds to their understanding of cultural differences, and I think it will just make them more global citizens,” he said.

Mcghee, who is from Scotland, paired with USF Nursing instructor Leslie Lockett, MSN, during the first half of the month-long trip, while assistant professor Rebecca Lutz, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, joined Mcghee during the remaining two weeks of the global nursing experience.

The global nursing program broadened clinical placements this year by giving students access to an operating room as well as community health clinics and homes in rural Scotland.

“It was a very rich experience for students,” Mcghee said. “They were working with community midwives, community district nurses – they were even able to get experience in the operating room.”

The two-week trip fulfills students’ requirements for their community health courses.

USF Nursing student Kelly Garvin said she learned a lot about how healthcare is delivered in the UK.

“It was fantastic. Scotland is beautiful. I think it was worth it.” said Garvin, who is completing her final semester in the Accelerated Second Bachelor’s Degree Sequence (SBN). “I think it gave me a deeper appreciation of the way we deliver healthcare here.”

Garvin said one of the most surprising aspects was seeing patients in their home, a common practice particularly in the rural areas. “It brings the health care to the people who need it the most,” she said.

Outside of clinicals, students immersed themselves in Scottish history and culture with a sobering visit to the Culloden Battlefield, trips to castles in Edinburgh and Stirling, and even  eating at The Elephant House, the cafe where author J.K. Rowling wrote the early Harry Potter books.

USF nursing student Joanna Jacob said she learned a lot about community health nursing and the close relationship nurses have with families in Scotland – lessons that will translate in her nursing career here.

Jacob said one of the most unexpected lessons was learning about the role of health visitors, specialized nurses who make routine visits to children and their families from birth to age five to check-in on their well-being.

“It was very eye-opening,” said Jacob, who is in the College of Nursing’s Upper Division Sequence (NUR) and graduates in August 2018. “I think they really focus on preventative care. It was mind-blowing to me. It makes healthcare more accessible to basically everyone.”

To read about the students’ journey in Scotland, follow their blog:

Story by Elizabeth Brown, USF College of Nursing